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Exanthematous (morbilliform) drug eruption

Andreas J Bircher, MD
Section Editors
Maja Mockenhaupt, MD, PhD
Jean-Claude Roujeau, MD
Deputy Editor
Rosamaria Corona, MD, DSc


Exanthematous drug eruption, also called morbilliform or maculopapular drug eruption, is the most common type of drug hypersensitivity reaction [1,2]. They are characterized by a diffuse and symmetric eruption of erythematous macules or small papules occurring approximately one week after the initiation of drug treatment. In severe forms, the mucosae (oral, conjunctival, nasal, or anogenital) and skin appendages (hair and nails) may be involved.

This topic will discuss the clinical presentation, diagnosis, and treatment of exanthematous drug eruptions. Drug allergy and other types of cutaneous adverse drug reactions are discussed separately.

(See "Drug allergy: Classification and clinical features".)

(See "Penicillin allergy: Immediate reactions".)

(See "Cephalosporin allergy: Clinical manifestations and diagnosis".)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Dec 04, 2015.
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